Saturday, 21 February 2015

D Beaver - Combinations (1973)

David Beaver's music career started out as keyboardist in Memphis Garage Pop/Blue Eyed Soul band The Gentrys whom he joined during the late sixties while they were struggling to get a hit to follow up their most known song "Keep On Dancing". By 1970, Beaver was bored with The Gentrys pop style and went on to form the much more progressive outfit Edgewood. An album, "Ship Of Labor" was released in 1972 on Steve Cropper's TMI Records label. This album has too much pseudo classical and jazzy leanings for my taste, but if you're curious you can check it out in full here.

Soon after the release of "Ship Of Labor" Edgewood split and Beaver formed another group named D Beaver. Joining him from his previous band was Pat Allen Taylor (guitar, backing vocals) and studio musicians; Tommy Cathey (bass, vocals), Jimi Jamison (lead vocals), Carl Marsh (guitar, backing vocals) and Joel Williams (drums, percussion, guitar).

A self produced album entitled "Combinations" was released in 1973, again for the TMI label and distributed by RCA. All of the songs were written solely by Beaver with the exception of This was a much poppier affair than Edgewood, although it is still a little prog but in an experimental sounds sense as opposed to pretentious noodling. The LP is very similar to Todd Rundgren's "A Wizard, A True Star" which was also released in 1973 but with catchier songs. My personal highlights on Combinations include the Hammond Organ driven, opening track "I Wanna Show You", the Abbey Road-like "Another Bad Year" and "The Wizard Of Menlo Park" which wouldn't sound out of place on The Family Tree's Miss Butters album. "42nd All-Star Review" is the kind of 10cc/Wings/Pilot pop which is just perfect for this blog.

D Beaver split shortly after the Combinations album and this, according to the BadCatRecords website, was due to them being dropped by RCA. Apparently some of the musicians carried on for a while as session men before joining more successful bands, but Beaver appears to have swapped the music business for a lucrative career in banking.


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